Great Basin Naturalist


Thirty-four study sites were established in shadscale (Atriplex confertifolia [Torr. & Frem.] Wats.) and greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus [Hoov. Torr. in Emory) communities bordering Utah Lake in central Utah. Differences in species composition, vegetation, and soil characteristics were assessed. Significant differences in soil factors between the two communities were found for sand, calcium, manganese, zinc, and copper. Soluble salts and sodium concentrations were generally higher in the greasewood type, but differences were not significant. Major differences were found in understory species, with burr buttercup (Ranunculus testiculatus Grantz) showing significantly greater cover in the shadscale community and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) showing significantly greater cover in the greasewood community.